A 4-year evaluation of toxoplasmosis seroprevalence in the general population and in women of reproductive age in central Italy

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Abstract

SUMMARY

This study aimed to estimate possible changes in seroprevalence of anti-Toxoplasma gondii IgG and IgM antibodies in people living in the area of Massa and Carrara (central Italy), in recent years. Serum samples from over 13 000 individuals were tested for both IgG and IgM anti-Toxoplasma antibodies using an immunoenzymatic method (Access® Toxo IgG, and Access® Toxo IgM II, Beckman Coulter Inc., USA). Our survey showed a decreasing trend of overall seroprevalence of 24·4% [95% confidence interval (CI) 22·62–25·71] in 2010 compared to 31·0% (95% CI 29·29–32·72) in 2007. A positive trend according to age was found, with low positivity observed in younger age groups. For women of reproductive age the prevalence of IgG antibodies was 30·2% (95% CI 28·44–31·96) in 2007 and 23·6% (95% CI 22·05–25·20) in 2010. IgM seroprevalence in women of this age group also progressively decreased from 1·6% to 0·97% during the study period. Our study confirms a decline of toxoplasmosis in Western countries.

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